Neighbours star Madeleine West has kicked off her political career with an appearance on The Project in which she explained her reasons behind the unexpected move.
Speaking on the popular Aussie show, Madeleine revealed she's hoping to run as an independent in the 2023 NSW state election for her local seat 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.
Speaking of what she hopes to achieve if she landed the seat of Ballina - which encompasses Byron Bay - Madeleine said that she wanted to shine a light on the issues faced by longtime locals who unable to afford the cost of living thanks to the area's boom in 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.
A Byron Bay resident, Madeleine has been helping flood recovery efforts to the best of her ability as the area was hit with unrelenting rainfall.
"I'm not agitating to see change anymore, I want to be 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 moved to Byron Bay from Melbourne with her children and has since been active in campaigns helping to better the area, volunteering to provide food for homeless families in the local area, and spending her time helping with regeneration efforts.
Madeleine also announced her political intentions on her Instagram last month.
"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."
This story was originally featured on our sister site, New Idea.