You don't hear much of Louis Mountbatten these days, but he's not forgotten at Deniliquin RSL. Past the small artillery pieces in the foyer and up a flight of stairs, there's a "Mountbatten Room", complete with 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma's picture behind the bar. But the bar is empty and closed; it’s barely 9.30 in the morning, and about a dozen Deni business people have come to have a round table with their local member, Liberal Sussan Ley.

By Ley's standards, the two-plus-hour drive from Albury we've just undertaken is neither here nor there in an electorate that, since she took it off the Nationals in 2001, has expanded to nearly a quarter of a million kilometres in size. It now runs from Albury west to the South Australian border and up western NSW to Queensland. Ley, a pilot, tends to fly herself if the road trip is going to be more than a couple of hours, especially to Broken Hill, 900 kilometres from Albury, where she's based.