NSW Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi has lamented an “increase in divisiveness and dog-whistling” in politics in a meeting with the Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council on Friday.
Dr Faruqi, who will soon replace Lee Rhiannon in the federal upper house, met with the AWECC to discuss various issues with the Border's migrant community.
Among such concerns was a rise in divisive rhetoric.
“I felt quite welcome in Australia when I arrived in 1992,” Dr Faruqi said.
“Since then, things have changed, and the belonging of migrants is challenged within these conversations.
“Our leaders need to develop a lot more guts and call out fear and racism and division when it happens, and not allow it to fester.”
Dr Faruqi said populism was becoming a growing concern.
“We’re not politicians to chase votes, our job is to represent Australia and make sure it is the best it can be,” she said.
“Australians, in general, are very welcoming and warm-hearted people, and we need to make sure our politicians listen and not pander to a minority.”
We’re not politicians to chase votes, our job is to represent Australia and make sure Australia is the best it can be.Dr Mehreen Faruqi