The federal industry department has cut 200 staff in the present round of public service job cuts and plans to shed another 200 by June 30.
The figures were revealed in a briefing to staff in Canberra last week.
In a transcript of the briefing, department secretary Glenys Beauchamp tells the meeting of the changes, which are part of the government’s aim to shed 12,000 people by natural attrition.
The job cuts have come through voluntary redundancies, closing down some programs and constraints on recruitment.
“When I think about those numbers, that’s an incredibly big task that we’ve achieved without dropping any balls,” Ms Beauchamp said.
She said she did not know what was in the May 13 budget, but spending cuts could be expected.
“There’s no doubt that that will have an implication for our operating budget and our departmental budget,” she said.
Labor industry spokesman Senator Kim Carr said he was concerned for the government’s lack of regard for the industry department.
“The demands on the department have never been greater. Now is not the time to be crippling its capabilities or sidelining the frank and fearless advice it provides by sabotaging staffing levels,” Senator Carr told AAP.
Public sector union deputy secretary Beth Vincent-Pietsch said it was another blow to the public service and took job losses since the September 2013 election to over 5000.
“Clearly the department has to work within a very tough budget which is why it is cutting staff,” she said.
“However, it is the role of government to ensure that industry is properly funded so it can continue to deliver services and programs that business and industry expects.”
The union has sought a meeting with the department to discuss the cuts.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane’s office declined to comment.