Homes will inevitably be built on Brisbane flood plains in the next 20 years, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said, in the face of staunch opposition to his City Plan 2014.
In the first of a four-day debate by councillors at City Hall on Tuesday, descriptions of the LNP administration's draft future Brisbane plan ranged from "visionary" to "time bomb".
Death of the Queenslander
The 20-year Brisbane City Plan focuses on high density unit developments, described as "open slather more than open space" and "not very livable". Nine News
The document provides the planning framework for the city's growth over next two decades.
Higher-density housing in targeted city centres, green belt retention and public consultation, along with service, transport and infrastructure delivery were the more hotly debated aspects of the plan.
As was flood plain construction, to which Labor councillors loudly voiced their opposition.
"What we are seeing from the LNP is more and more building in flood-affected parts of suburbs and that is something Labor will never support," Opposition Leader Milton Dick said.
Moorooka ward councillor Steve Griffiths described flood plain development as "absurd".
"This plan is not future looking in terms of flooding - it's about making quick bucks for some developers," he said.
However, Cr Quirk said significant flood mitigation works had been undertaken in the wake of the 2011 floods.
"The proposition has been put forward somehow we ought not be allowing development on land that does flood. The reality is this city is built on a flood plain, he said.
"We need to make the provisions available and assess applications based on building flood immunity in relation to development.
"But it does not mean if a piece of land has flooded at some point in this city's history that no development should occur on that site.
"That would mean the denying of people's property rights.
"That would be a failure to acknowledge this whole city is built on a flood plain."
The Lord Mayor and his civic cabinet defended the plan from criticism by the Labor Opposition, perhaps none more prolific than the prediction it would create a development free-for-all.
The plan essentially caters for Brisbane's projected population growth with higher density development around key transport corridors and nodes in a bid to prevent an urban sprawl.
A number of Labor councillors voiced the long standing concern Brisbane's backyards were under threat from rampant subdivision, something Cr Quirk countered with the assertion the plan allowed for 40 per cent of the city remaining green in 2034.
"I support Brisbane's growth but I'm concerned the draft city plan is a green light for development that is risking our lifestyle," Cr Dick said.
Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner said planning for the city's future was a balancing act.
"There is no utopian city here we can all strive towards, it's about achieving a sensible and reasonable balance between competing demands," he said.
"There is no one extreme direction or another we can go in, nor would we suggest council go in extreme directions.
"Balance is important for the economy of our city and for the lifestyle of our city.
"This draft city plan will achieve that balance."
Cr Schrinner also reiterated the Brisbane of 2034 would remain a garden city.
"One thing I'm proud about is the amount of green space," he said.
"Across the city, we see huge tracts of the city that are protected for the future, that are protected from subdivision."
The debate is set to resume at City Hall on Wednesday morning.