Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard will today help Greg Combet launch his book
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard will today help Greg Combet launch his book Cathy Adams

Former PM Julia Gillard launches Combet book

FORMER Prime Minister Julia Gillard this morning stood beside former climate change minister Greg Combet as he launched his book "The Fights of My Life" in Sydney.

Mr Combet retired from politics at the 2013 election.

In promotional material for the event, he is described as being at the centre of some of Australia's "biggest battles" including the waterfront dispute, the collapse of an airline, compensation for asbestos victims, the campaign against unfair workplace laws and then climate change".

"Facing many challenges, he rose to lead the Australian trade union movement and become a senior minister in the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments.

"Along the way he has struggled with political ideology, the impact of work on his family and the relentless demands of the parliamentary life."

The release of Mr Combet's book comes three days after he told revealed fresh details of the day Ms Gillard was defeated by Kevin Rudd in the 2013 leadership spill.

Mr Combet told the ABC's 7.30 program how Ms Gillard had offered to stand aside for him if he wished to do battle with Mr Rudd.

"Obviously the government was in a lot of trouble and Julia Gillard was in trouble at that time," Mr Combet said.

"I actually asked to speak to her privately and expressed my thoughts about what I thought needed to happen.

"I thought that there needed to be a caucus ballot for the leadership to resolve the issue once and for all.

"We couldn't have had two leaders going to the election fighting Tony Abbott, which was the situation we were in, and Julia surprised me at that discussion by suggesting that she would support me.

"She would stand down in favour of me if I stood."