The Griffith community and volunteer firefighters are set to benefit from an extension to the Hanwood Rural Fire Brigade fire station thanks to a $79,923 grant from the Nationals in Government.

NSW Nationals Member for Murray Austin Evans said the project would upgrade the station to ensure volunteer firefighters were better prepared to respond to emergencies.

“Improvements will include additional training space, extra changing rooms and truck bays to house firefighting vehicles,” Mr Evans said. “There’s been a recent influx of new members and it’s important that the fire station has the right facilities to support them. The project will see secure and private changing facilities for men and women, enhanced training facilities to run the junior member program, and extra truck bays so vehicles can respond quickly when called out.”

Hanwood Rural Fire Brigade Captain Darrell Wallace said the brigade was thrilled to receive the funding to extend the station and training room. Mr Wallace said the extension means so much to the brigade because all three firefighting vehicles can be parked under the one roof, making response times much quicker.

“Additionally, the extra space in our station will mean we can have more members, and ensure we have the best possible response to all emergencies,” Mr Wallace said.

NSW Nationals Minister for Racing Paul Toole said the project was funded through the Clubgrants Category 3 Infrastructure Grants program.

“More than $50 million in funding is being provided during this current term of government for projects across sport and recreation, emergency preparedness, and arts and culture,” Mr Toole said. “These grants are funded by a contribution from the state’s registered clubs to reinvest profits from gaming machines back into community projects.”

The program was improved in 2017 to give community organisations more chances to apply for a wider range of projects. New funding ranges have encouraged more diverse projects, with a streamlined application process that cuts red tape and allows for faster assessment.