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    Neighbours star Madeleine West kicks off political career on The Project

    Madeleine West, star of Neighbours, began her political career with an appearance on The Project, where she explained why she made the surprising decision.

    Madeleine said on the popular Australian show that she plans to run as an independent in the 2023 NSW state election for her hometown of Ballina.

    “I’m running for state, so let’s not confuse the issue; it is not about the federal campaign, but I believe that politics is for the people and it’s about being the voice of the people,” she said.

    Madeleine added that if she wins the seat of Ballina, which includes Byron Bay, she wants to highlight the challenges faced by lifelong residents who are unable to pay the rising cost of living as a result of the area’s growing popularity.

    “My area is beautiful, we see it on Instagram and everyone celebrates it as a tourist destination, but the reality is the people serving the coffees and cleaning up the Airbnbs can’t afford to live in the Shire anymore,” she said.

    Madeleine, a Byron Bay local, has been assisting flood recovery efforts to the best of her ability since the region was battered by continuous rain.

    “I’m not agitating to see change anymore, I want to change. And so today I’m formally announcing that I intend to run for state parliament at the NSW elections next year,” she announced on Studio10 last month.

    “I want to be the voice for my region. We need a strong voice on the floor, and I want to be it,” she said.

    “When I came to my region six years ago – of course, I love it as everyone does – but I wanted to understand it, I want to understand it better.

    “So, I dived in deep. I’m a mum of six. I want to see the region flourish. I want to see my children flourish and everyone’s children flourish there.”

    Madeleine and her children relocated to Byron Bay from Melbourne, and she has since been involved in initiatives to improve the town, volunteering to feed homeless families in the area, and offering her time to help with regeneration efforts.

    Last month, Madeleine proclaimed her political plans on Instagram.

    “Today I officially announce my intention to run for State Parliament at the 2023 NSW elections,” she wrote alongside an image of herself with the Studio10 team.

    “I dropped into @studio10au today to bring awareness to the #floods which have ravaged my region, and expressed my frustration at the cataclysmic failure of those at the top to deploy an adequate, timely response capable of ensuring the safety, lives, and livelihoods of the very people who put them there,” she wrote.

    “Australia needs a guarantee this will never happen again. We’ve talked about it enough and now is the time for action,” she added.

    “Be the change you want to see. It’s never too late to change everything. Let’s go.”

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