Bruce Lehrmann, currently in Queensland, is charged with sexual intercourse without consent at Parliament House in March 2019.
Acting for Lehrmann, barrister John Korn told the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday he was instructed to enter a plea of not guilty.
The case is due to return to court on October 14, at which time Lehrmann is expected to be committed to the Supreme Court for trial.
Ms Higgins publicly alleged in February a then-unnamed colleague raped her in the office of minister Linda Reynolds.
Lehrmann was not in court and did not appear on the video-link before Magistrate Jane Campbell on Thursday.