Abbott's sister makes a baskets case as she rides after Moore

TONY ABBOTT'S sister, Christine Forster, is concerned for the City of Sydney.

''I have this mental image of Clover Moore wanting people to be riding around the centre of Sydney with baguettes in their front baskets,'' Ms Forster, a first-time Liberal candidate for council, said.

''But what is the impact on the bakery down the street of the fact that people can no longer pull up in their cars outside that bakery and buy a baguette?''

With the cycleways network one of the few contentious topics in next month's elections, Ms Forster is certain bike paths are an issue. But she is less certain what should be done about them.

''Our policy is we like bikes, but we don't hate cars,'' she said, talking for the first time since she was endorsed by the party.

The journalist is placed second behind computer entrepreneur Edward Mandla on the Liberal Party ticket, seeking to topple the lord mayor and cycleways advocate Cr Moore, but it is the political convictions of the federal Opposition Leader, Mr Abbott, that have already earned Ms Forster her largest profile.

Ms Forster was outed by a newspaper in April as being in a committed same-sex relationship and as being a keen supporter of gay marriage - a view at odds with that of Mr Abbott.

She said the attention ''inevitably'' played a role in her decision to seek public office, something she had not previously pursued out of respect for the sensitivities of her four children from an earlier marriage.

''The fact that it was forced onto the public record by that article at least meant that I could move forward with everybody accepting that this is public knowledge and it's the reality of my life,'' she said.

Ms Forster said that despite their differences of opinion on same-sex marriage, her brother was ''100 per cent supportive'' of her bid for office.

Ms Forster also ''absolutely'' believed in climate change, but said the City of Sydney's ''minuscule'' emissions warranted a ''a critical review of whether the amount that is being thrown at that is money well spent''.

A member of the Liberal Party since the 1990s and a resident of Surry Hills since last year, Ms Forster said improving the council's efficiency, cutting fees for pavement dining and parking needed to be urgently addressed.

The Bourke Street bike path near her home was ''a great asset to the community'' and she would not to seek to rip up any existing bike paths, but Ms Forster said a review of their economic impact was needed.

''Surry Hills is a quiet residential suburb, it's not a thriving business metropolis,'' she said. ''I'm not sure that bike paths are the answer in the CBD.''

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