NEWS

Why Madeleine West is turning to politics in the face of crisis

“We’re running out of time.”
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Madeleine West has been a staple on Aussie screens for the last two decades, starring in some of our best-loved dramas including Neighbours and Underbelly.

WATCH: Madeleine West announces she’s running for State Parliament

But as the passionate environmentalist joins WHO in Sydney for a photo shoot on March 31, she has no idea what she’ll be going home to, with her community in Byron Bay ravaged by floods for the second time in just a couple of weeks.

Unhappy with the response, Madeleine wants to be part of the solution, and so she’s running as an independent for the seat of Ballina in the New South Wales state election next year.

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“They call it a one-in-100-year flood, but now we’ve had two in less than a month.” (Credit: Phil Castleton for WHO Magazine.)

What is it like living in your community right now?

There is a lot of fear and uncertainty. While there has been such an outpouring of love and support across the country since the flooding crisis started, our greatest fear is that we’ll be forgotten once the news cycle moves on. It will take our area months and years to rebuild, not days and weeks.

Why are you running for state government?

They call it a one-in-100-year flood, but now we’ve had two in less than a month. We need to start accepting this is our new reality so that we can finally start putting environmental strategies in place to help prevent it, because we’re running out of time. I’m there every day helping with the clean-up, cooking meals in the community centre and replanting the forests. I feel we’ve been painfully failed by the current system of government and I’ve got ideas and something to contribute.

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“We all need to focus on what is in our backyard, our fridge and our car, and start to find ways to live more sustainably.” (Credit: Instagram)

What can we at home do to help out?

What we are experiencing in the Northern Rivers right now is what the rest of Australia will start to face soon. We all need to focus on what is in our backyard, our fridge and our car, and start to find ways to live more sustainably. My campaign will be entirely digital, so it won’t contribute to even more waste and environmental damage by printing off thousands of leaflets. [So] when you have the chance to have your say and vote, make it really count!

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