In six short years, Australia’s Future Fund has gained a reputation as a leading force for transparency and good governance in the big money world of sovereign wealth funds. So there’s no small irony that critics are saying the government has ignored those principles and interfered with the leadership transition at the A$73 billion ($77 billion) fund.

David Gonski, one of Australia’s most powerful, well-connected businessmen, has been named as the new chairman of the Future Fund, replacing its founding chairman David Murray, who will step down on April 2. The decision, which was formally announced on Wednesday in a joint press release from Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Finance and Deregulation Penny Wong, has sparked immediate controversy — and raised the possibility that the Future Fund, which has earned a reputation as an exemplar of good governance, may not be immune to political meddling.

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