RARE GLIMPSE: A frame from CCTV surveillance tapes of a snail believed to be Mitch the Mitchell's Rainforest Snail currently in hiding somewhere near Butler Street Byron Bay.
RARE GLIMPSE: A frame from CCTV surveillance tapes of a snail believed to be Mitch the Mitchell's Rainforest Snail currently in hiding somewhere near Butler Street Byron Bay. Contributed

SNAILGATE EXCLUSIVE: More slimy political deals

AS TENSIONS reach crisis point within the Greens Party over the route of the Byron Bay bypass, the macropod at the centre of the political maelstrom, Mitch the Mitchell's Rainforest Snail, has gone to ground, both literally and figuratively.

In the name of protecting the endangered Mitchell's Rainforest Snail, Ballina MP Tamara Smith is pushing to change the route of the bypass (currently under construction as we speak) to the existing rail corridor.

However, Byron's Greens councillors are happy with the process as it is unfolding, sparking internal Greens' friction (colour me surprised) and a high level debate about the party's fundamental principles.

Byron councillors are absolutely spewing going, "butt out Tamara and leave it where it is", and Tamara is all "you can't make me", and the councillors are totally like, "we're gunna gang up on you", and she is like, "whatevs, I'm fully the state member so I'm bigger than you".

But in an exclusive interview with Leigh Snails, our BSN-TV Gastropod Correspondent, Mitch the Mitchell's Rainforest Snail comes out of his shell (figuratively, not literally) to answer accusations that he is very slowly trying to force a change of leadership within the Greens.

Given the importance of the issue we present this un-re-dacted transcript of the live studio interview.

Leigh Snails: Thanks for joining us this evening. Is it okay if I call you Mitch?

Mitch: Sure Snailsy, whatever drains your swamp is okay with me.

LS: Is it confusing that all of you, even the lady snails, are called Mitch?

Mitch: Nup.

LS: But it must be confusing given that you all look the same?

Mitch: With respect, Leigh, that is massively snailist... and if you keep bypassing the issue I will leave a trail of green slime as I very slowly walk out of this interview.

LS: Please don't... it took so long for you to clip on your microphone.

Mitch: Ha! See! I did a bypass and a Greens joke all at the same time.

LS: Yes major lols Mitch... but is it true that you are in fact just a stalking horse for others within the Greens party with leadership ambitions trying to force a kind of "who is the Greenest in all the land" division to appeal to disaffected members?

Mitch: Let me pick you up on a couple of points there, Leigh. Firstly, I think the stalking horse metaphor is a non-starter for obvious reasons...and it's speciest. Secondly, being dis-affected is pretty much the defining feature of being a Green so it's kind of hard to tell whether, as collective of people, they are ever happy or sad about anything at all. Finally, given the idea of anyone being in charge of anything or telling others what to do in order to reach a defined goal is an anathema to the Greens' collectivist ideals, it's hard to imagine there could ever be anyone leading the Greens in the way that you or I may understand the idea of leading in order to attain a defined political outcome.

LS: So what you are saying is, Snailgate may have less to do with snails, as rare and beautiful and worthy of protection as you are, than internal Greens politics.

Mitch: You may say that, Leigh, but I couldn't possibly comment.

LS: You're pretty smart for a snail.

Mitch: How do you think we survived so long?