I have today announced the appointment of Hon John Wayne Olsen
as Consul-General of Australia in Los Angeles. Mr Olsen will replace
Allan Rocher who has been Consul-General since November 1999.
Taking in southern California and the south-west of the United
States, the Los Angeles post encompasses some of Australia's most
dynamic interests in America. A large proportion of American trade
and investment in Australia comes from California which is also
a major market for Australian firms, especially in the areas of
information and high technology. Opportunities abound to further
enhance the United States' awareness of Australia's strengths in
these and other areas, to promote market development for Australian
products and services and to assist in building strategic partnerships
between American and Australian businesses.
The Californian economy is the fifth largest in the world. California
is politically influential with the nation's largest congressional
representation. It is also the centre of the world's entertainment
industry, with increasing Australian involvement. Given the diverse
nature of the American political and economic system, the post has
a major role to play in advancing Australian interests across these
Mr Olsen was Premier of South Australia, Minister for State Development
and Minister for Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs from November
1996 to October 2001 and was South Australia's Minister for Infrastructure
from 1993 to 1996. From 1990 to 1992, Mr Olsen was appointed to
the Federal Senate. Prior to that, Mr Olsen was Leader of the Opposition
in South Australia from 1982 to 1990 and Chief Secretary and Minister
for Police, Correctional Services and Fisheries from in 1982. He
joined the South Australian Parliament in 1979.
Mr Olsen has vast experience in conducting successful negotiations
with international corporations such as General Motors, CKI, Thames,
SAAB and Mitsubishi. As Premier he ushered in a period of sustained
export growth in South Australia, when that State outstripped national
growth. He is highly credentialled to continue Australia's push
for export growth.
Mr Olsen is expected to take up his appointment in November 2002.
Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / Julie
McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555