A PLAN for a Port Fairy statue honouring folk festival singer Danny Spooner has Moyne Shire Council's in-principle support after a councillor initiated the idea.
Cr Jordan Lockett approached Mr Spooner's widow Gael Shannon with the idea for the statue planned for the town's wharf nearly three years ago.
Mr Spooner died in 2017 and was known for bringing songs of the sea, or shanty singing, to the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
Cr Lockett, also a member of The Southern Ocean Sea Band, said the band believed the statue was a "nice idea" to memoralise Mr Spooner.
"I personally think it's a great link between the wharf and its history and the folkie history," he said.
Cr Mick Wolfe said the council was "supportive of the concept" but had not given a formal commitment to fund the project, which was seeking up to $20,000.
"Mr Spooner's family has been made aware of this in-principle support and that any future commitment will need to go through formal council decision processes," Cr Wolfe said.
The family has re-launched a fundraising campaign for the statue, which aims to raise $80,000. It stalled earlier this year while Cr Lockett sought council support.
Ms Shannon, a Daylesford resident with plans to move to Camperdown, said the proposal would have thrilled her late husband.
"Danny would be terribly embarrassed but really thrilled by Jordan's proposal to council that he be honoured in this way," Ms Shannon said.
The Port Fairy Folk Festival awarded him the first artist of the year in 1995 and a lifetime achievement award in 2012.
"He was a traditional singer, his immense repertoire were traditional songs, about people's lives and their skills. Keeping alive what people had earned their living at over the years," Ms Shannon said.
Ms Shannon said she had approached bronze sculptor Peter Corlett to do the work, and hoped to unveil it at the 2021 folk festival.
She said if the idea was unsuccessful she would consider establishing a folk festival bursary for an emerging artist.
"I would hope it would be traditional artist," Ms Shannon said.
Asked whether there would be community consultation, Cr Lockett said it would need to be "respectful to Danny's memory and the family".
"There will need to be community consultation about it and that may raise other discussions about other art projects we'd welcome in the shire," he said.
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