Vorarlberg municipality votes against project by Rauch and Red Bull


56.1 percent in Ludesch argue for the preservation of the agricultural area. The project opponents had forced a referendum.

In the Vorarlberger Walgaugemeinde Ludesch (Bez Bludenz), the citizens on Sunday in a referendum against the rededication of about 6.5 hectares of agricultural land for the expansion of the fruit juice manufacturer Rauch pronounced. As part of the protected green zone would be necessary for this, the decision is also of supraregional importance.

Of 2,688 voting residents, 1,765 (65 percent) voted validly in the referendum, of which 982 voters (56.1 percent) voted against the rededication and 763 (43.6 percent) voted in favor. The fruit juice manufacturer Rauch said in a statement in the afternoon, "the democratic result of the referendum note" to take. "The further procedure will now be discussed with the project partners and there is currently no concrete planning for a replacement project."

The result immediately led to reaction from politics. The newly elected Vorarlberg Economic Councilor Marco Tittler (OVP) said on Wednesday that "I can not deny that I would have wished for a different outcome." Tittler spoke of a "case by case decision that had to be respected. However, especially for family businesses, there must continue to be realistic perspectives for expansion at the location. "He emphasizes the strategy dialogue" Economy & Environment "contained in the new government program.

Member of Parliament Bernie Weber and business spokesman of the government partner The Greens explicitly welcomed the result as "clear commitment of the people in Ludesch for climate and environmental protection" and for the maintenance of the Green Zone as a Vorarlberg peculiarity.

Massive resistance of the population

The fruit juice manufacturer Rauch, which already operates a filling plant for Red Bull in Ludesch and can be seen in association with the neighboring can manufacturer Ball, had announced its intention to expand production and warehousing in 2016, whereupon the community council with 21: 1 votes for the removal of the affected areas from the Landesgrunzone voted. The provincial government of Vorarlberg also agreed to the plans as a higher-level body.

That caused some massive resistance in the population. In the summer, 950 residents had forced a referendum to hold a referendum. With 3,515 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2019) only 477 signatures would have been necessary. The opponents see, among other things, soil and climate protection and the groundwater supply at risk and asked the fundamental question in the room, whether the economy "with money can buy everything". A few days before the referendum, the otherwise media-shy company Rauch had held a press conference in Ludesch and promised five million euros for the community, which should be used for projects such as a kindergarten. The "Trio" Rauch / Red Bull / Ball argued with additional jobs and the protection of the regional economy.


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