The Government is accusing a prison officers' union of scaremongering over moves to allow the private sector to run prisons.
The Corrections Association says the private management of prisons will add to the number of guards leaving to work in Australian jails.
Australian prison sources say Western Australia's Department of Corrective Services is looking at recruiting up to 600 prison officers in the next 12 to 18 months and plans to start a New Zealand recruitment drive early next year.
Corrections Association president Beven Hanlon says guards are worried about possible redundancies and the Australian offer is likely to have a significant impact on the prison service.
Corrections Minister Judith Collins has dismissed Mr Hanlon's claims as nonsense.
Ms Collins says suggestions the Government is looking at privatising up to six prisons are false and fears of widespread redundancies in the prison service are unfounded.