Poll Suggests Australians Are Against Return Of Islamic State Wives, Kids

Voters are mostly opposed to the repatriation from Syria of Islamic State wives and children holding Australian citizenship.

A Newspoll found 59 per cent of 1634 voters polled between October 17 and 19 are opposed to their return, against 36 per cent who were in favour, The Australian reported on Tuesday.

Some 20 Australian women and 46 children are stranded in refugee camps in northern Syria following the defeat of ISIS.

Women and children evacuated from the Islamic State group's embattled holdout of Baghouz arrive in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor. Image: Bulent Kilic / GettyThe federal government has so far resisted calls for them to be brought home, saying the situation is too dangerous and would endanger the lives of defence troops sent to retrieve them.

Opposition to their return was strongest amongst coalition voters at 70 per cent, according to the Newspoll.

But Labor voters appeared to be split on the issue, with 50 per cent in favour of their repatriation and 45 per cent against.

Department of Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo. Image: Mick Tsikas/ AAP

READ MORE: Fears That U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Has Revived ISIS

Home Affairs Department secretary Mike Pezzullo told a Senate estimates hearing that bringing them back was "high risk" and described the regions where the camps are situated as the "badlands".

"It would it would have been much better, of course, for certain adults not to have made certain decisions to travel," he told the hearing in Canberra on Monday.