Peter Slipper arrives at the ACT Magistrates Court in May. Photo: Andrew Meares
Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper has lost a bid to delay his hearing over an alleged taxpayer-funded taxi tour of Canberra region wineries.
Slipper has been accused of three counts of dishonestly using Cabcharge cards in 2010, but is fighting the charges in the ACT Magistrates Court.
Commonwealth prosecutors allege the former politician, who was not re-elected at the last election, improperly used $1000 of the taxi vouchers to visit regional restaurants and wineries.
The high-profile case against Slipper was due to be heard in the first week of December.
But, at his last appearance, Slipper's lawyer Peter Russo indicated there might be difficulty with legal representation.
On Tuesday, Mr Russo's legal firm said they had only just arranged new counsel - Kylie Weston-Scheuber, a former prosecutor who led the ADFA Skype case - to act for Slipper.
Mr Russo's firm said it would have difficulty briefing the new counsel before December 2, and asked that the date be vacated.
That was opposed by Commonwealth prosecutor Katrina Musgrove, who said her office was ready to proceed, and had begun preparing witnesses across Victoria, NSW, and the ACT.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker rebuffed Slipper's bid for more time, saying nothing had been put forward to convince her it was necessary.
Ms Walker said the court did not have a ready availability of hearing dates, with the next available date in late April, 2014.