A 2008 US Embassy cable published by Wikileaks on 29 August 2011 states:
Â¶3. (C) Scott explained that Australia's Movement Alert List (MAL) has been updated to include not only those persons banned from entering or transiting Australian territory, but also all persons subject to asset freezing or whose travel is subject to reporting.
An application for a visa by any person on the Movement Alert List triggered an alert to DFAT and/or other agencies responsible for taking action on the specific case.
The system was as an effective mechanism to screen and prevent travel to Australia by persons of proliferation concern or who were subject to a travel ban, according to Scott.
This included refusal of visas to Iranians on a regular basis.
According to the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Movement Alert List fact sheet on 10 August 2010:
As at end of July 2010 there were approximately 630 000 identities of interest listed on MAL.
People may be listed on MAL when they have serious criminal records. Other people listed include those whose presence in Australia may constitute a risk to the Australian community and people who may not enter Australia as they are subject to exclusion periods prescribed by migration legislation. This can occur for a number of reasons, including health concerns, debts owed to the Commonwealth or other adverse immigration records.
About 1.8 million documents of concern are also recorded on MAL. These include reported lost, stolen or fraudulently altered travel documents.
Details of identities of concern are recorded on MAL as a result of the department's liaison with security, law enforcement agencies, other Australian Government departments and immigration officers in Australia and overseas.
If there is a MAL match a decision on entry is taken by the department in consultation with any other relevant agency.
Now aside from what seems like an incredible number of people being on the Australian Government’s watch and/or no fly data base, it would appear that if one owes a “debt to the Commonwealth” then the no fly provisions will possibly be activated.
Which may be of some concern to those Australians with large unpaid tax bills, those owing money due to cash transfer overpayments or having significant outstanding costs awarded against them in favour of a federal government agency; who probably were not expecting the Tax Office, Centrelink or the Attorney-General to be contributing to the Movement Alert List and now find their names side by side with those of suspected Al Qaeda sympathizers.
Given that Australian citizens already residing in the country are being placed on this list and, a second 2010 US Embassy cable indicates that information on these citizens when officially passed on to the US Government will possibly result in those named (after assessment by the Visas Viper committee) being placed on American no fly and/or selectee lists, one has to wonder exactly how many government departments are contributing names to the Australian Movement Alert List.