Most Aussie voters oppose IS brides, children returning home from Syria: poll

World Tuesday 22/October/2019 09:27 AM
By: Times News Service
Most Aussie voters oppose IS brides, children returning home from Syria: poll

Canberra: Most voters believe that Australian Islamic State (IS) brides and children trapped in Syrian refugee camps should not be allowed to return to Australia, according to the latest Newspoll.

Newspoll, an Australian opinion polling brand, published by The Australian on Tuesday, revealed that 59 per cent of the more than 1,600 eligible voters did not support the repatriation of the 20 Australian women and 46 children currently stuck in Syria.

This view was shared equally among Australian men and women. Only 15 per cent of respondents were strongly in favour of bringing them home. However, 39 per cent were strongly opposed to ever allowing them to return, and 20 per cent were "somewhat" opposed.

Meanwhile, the Australian government reiterated its position that it would not bring home the women and children because it was still unsafe for Australian forces to enter the war zone.

Among other problems are the lack of available resources to monitor the women should they return to Australia, amid concerns that some could have been radicalised, according to The Australian report.

The Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said in last week it was still too dangerous to send Australian troops into the region.

"The advice is consistent to us, and that is that there's not an opportunity given the danger there at the moment," Dutton said.

"We've been able to bring back some orphans, as you know, but we're not in a position where we're able to go into those camps, and to be very clear about the fact that it's a tragedy that the parents, mothers and fathers, have made a decision to take children into a theatre of war, but we've been very clear we're not going to put Australian Defence, Foreign Affairs, or Home Affairs personnel or other agency staff at risk," he said.

Of the Newspoll, the opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) voters were more likely to be sympathetic, with 50 per cent agreeing they should be returned home (against 45 per cent who were opposed).

However, a significant majority of the governing Liberal-National party (LNP) coalition voters (70 per cent) were against the women and children being permitted to re-enter the country.

The poll on the issue was conducted across the country, including in capital cities and regional areas.

Only 5 per cent of respondents were uncommitted on the contentious issue.