The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has criticised proposed job cuts at the Department of Environment, claiming they would deliver a "body blow" to the Australian public sector.
The Government is cutting another 480 jobs in the Department over the next three years, with 250 to go by the end of 1014, and the Department says more may go after the release of the National Commission of Audit report.
CPSU National Secretary, Nadine Flood said the cuts were "a body blow to the public sector".
"The Government says cuts like these are necessary casualties in its war on red tape, but nothing could be further from the truth," Ms Flood said.
"This is the removal of scrutiny of a treasured asset - our environment."
Ms Flood said these cuts lifted the tally of job losses announced by the Government to well over 5000.
"Tony Abbott needs to tell Australians which work he wants Environment and other Government Agencies to cut," she said.
"You can't cut over 5000 jobs and pretend you'll still deliver the same Government services. It doesn't add up."
The Australian community expected Government to protect precious environmental assets like Antarctica, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef, Ms Flood said.
"You need talented experienced people to do that," she said.
"Cutting these jobs means fewer people on the ground who can do this work."
The CPSU said it was meeting with officials to ensure that staff rights were respected and that management communicated clearly and often with staff about the process.
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