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Former Neighbours actor Madeleine West has shared an unusual career move.

The mother-of-six recently launched a political campaign, that will see her run in the 2023 NSW state election for her local seat of Ballina as an independent.

Madeleine kicked off her campaign with an appearance on The Project to explain what prompted such a radical change.

“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.

Ms West raised concern over “a huge disconnect between the haves and have-nots” in the exclusive seat of Ballina, which encompasses the Byron Bay Area.

“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 any more,” she said.

“I’m lucky to have a national platform, yes, but I think that makes me uniquely qualified to bring a spotlight on local issues because what we’ve been through realistically is a microcosm that the rest of Australia can expect to experience,” Ms West said.

Madeleine West became a household name over 20 years ago when she started playing Dee Bliss on Neighbours.

She played the role for three years, before coming back for another three year stint in 2017.

More recently, the 41-year-old has taken an active role in reforestation projects, while also helping in flood clean up efforts.

She said being a politician came down to being accountable and genuinely caring about the community – including the “community” of Australia.

“I’ve been agitating for change for a very long time in a lot of different philanthropic spheres and now I want to be the change that I want to see,” she said.

Image credits: Ten / Instagram

This article first appeared on OverSixty.

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