Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young believes humanity will prevail in the furore over asylum seeker families being housed in the Adelaide Hills.
Residents of Woodside, where up to 400 asylum seekers are set to be housed in the Inverbrackie defence estate later this year, have held a town meeting to discuss concerns their school could be overwhelmed, and crime rates could rise.
Senator Hanson-Young told reporters in Canberra she was confident the families would eventually be welcomed.
"I must admit the footage and the audio that I heard from the meeting last night in the Adelaide Hills really upset me," the South Australian senator said.
She agreed that more consultation was needed, but urged people not to "dehumanise" the families.
"It's pretty hard for anyone to look a five-year-old in the eye and say that somehow you must be afraid of them," she said. Liberal MP Jamie Briggs says the coalition will seek the support of independents to stop the plan. Senator Hanson-Young said Mr Briggs was just "sloganeering".
"Let's actually think about showing some true leadership, some true courage, and that's not beating up on the little guy," she said.