A while ago I wrote that struggling farmers should be enticed off the land for environmental and economic reasons. Now a new CSIRO report suggests that drought aid simply prolongs farmers’ agony and delays the inevitable, and that the billions of dollars of aid given to farmers would be better used to help farmers leave the land. These aren’t new revelations, of course; it’s all been suggested before. But this time it’s in a formal report from the federal science organisation, and it comes at a time in this country’s history when water shortages are foremost in the minds of many people. Maybe somebody in a high place will listen this time.