A small Victorian town's loss is set to be Canberra's gain.
Parts of the closed Australian Emergency Management Institute in Mount Macedon will be moved to Canberra as part of changes announced in the federal budget.
The Community and Public Sector Union is lobbying against shutting down the institute, an arm of the Attorney-General's Department that analyses Australia's responses to disasters.
The union said closure of the institute and subsequent job losses would be a blow to the Mount Macedon economy, which was already struggling with employment issues.
It could cut up to 45 jobs, but it is not known how many will come to Canberra.
Whether work formerly undertaken by the institute would be done remotely under a potential new "virtual model" is also being looked into.
If this is the case, the union will argue the jobs should stay in Victoria.
CPSU lead organiser Arian McVeigh said the decision had been a kick in the guts for the hard-working professionals at the institute.
"They have been told they have two options, uproot their families and move to Canberra or take redundancy," she said.
"The harsh reality is most staff aren’t in a position to move to Canberra and, if they stay, they know there are very few local job prospects."
It is a small turnaround in news for Canberra, which will bear the brunt of 16,500 public service jobs cuts nationally and will also have local jobs relocated.
In a stinging "slap in the face for Canberra", 600 Commonwealth public service jobs will be relocated to the NSW central coast, half of them from the embattled Australian Taxation Office.
It was a move described by the opposition as one which undermined the territory as the home of the nation's bureaucrats.