THE Department of Primary Industries lost 10 per cent of its workforce in the 12 months to June last year.
That's the findings of a new state of the public sector report tabled in State Parliament this week.
The Weekly Times understands the figure excludes the 200 voluntary departure packages offered last September.
In June last year there were 2161 people working for the DPI, including 1999 full-time positions. This compares to 2408 people, including 2238 full-time equivalents, in 2010-11.
It represents a drop of 247 staff, or 239 full-time positions, or 10 per cent.
Community and Public Sector Union Victorian branch secretary Karen Batt said the job-loss numbers were almost a year out of date and did not include the government's recent cuts and staff departures.
"The situation has deteriorated and is really pretty grim," Ms Batt said.
"Government support for our agricultural-reliant communities is barely existent.
"There's more funding for city-based, high-paid executives than ever before, but Premier Ted Baillieu can't support our primary producers."
Opposition agriculture spokesman John Lenders said: "The Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh is on record saying that the closure of DPI offices would not impact on rural and regional jobs.
"A large majority of these DPI jobs are across rural and regional Victoria and provide vital frontline support.
"These job cuts paint a bleak picture for farmers."
A Department of Primary Industries spokesman would not confirm or deny whether the 200 voluntary redundancies were in addition to the 247.
He said since December 2011 the State Government has requested departments, including the DPI, to implement a series of efficiency measures known as the Sustainable Government Initiative.
"It was advised the SGI would be achieved over two years through an effective freeze on recruitment, non-renewal of fixed-term contracts, natural attrition, and voluntary departure packages."