Tim was born in the state’s South East and raised on family farms. His family moved to Adelaide, where Tim attended school before taking on a fitter and turner apprenticeship with GMH.
He developed a keen interest in fast cars and boats, and began a small business restoring muscle cars and fitting out speedboats while also working as a project manager on the Moomba gas fields.
In 1989 he moved to the Riverland, purchasing a citrus property in the Renmark Irrigation District. He also purchased farmland on the River Murray and developed a vineyard.
Tim became a director of the Renmark Irrigation Trust in 1998, and a director of South Australian Murray Irrigators (SAMI) two years later. He later became the chairman of SAMI, and helped bring that organisation to greater prominence while strongly representing the interests of irrigators to the State and Federal governments.
While undertaking his role with SAMI, Tim developed a passion for representing his community on a range of issues other than water and irrigation. He stood for election as the Liberal Party candidate for the seat of Chaffey on March 20, 2010.
Tim's campaign achieved the biggest swing of the South Australian election – 20% – and unseated a prominent State Government minister. In March 2014, Tim was re-elected to the seat of Chaffey with more than 75 per cent of the overall vote on a two party preferred basis. At the 2018 State election, Tim successfully won the seat of Chaffey with a margin in excessive of 17 per cent on a two party preferred basis and was also sworn in as the South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development at a ceremony at Government House.
Tim previously held Shadow Ministerial portfolios in Sport and Recreation, and Racing. He has also been the State Liberal Party's Parliamentary Secretary for Water and the River Murray and Parliamentary Secretary to the State Deputy Liberal Leader.
Tim Whetstone celebrates his election win in March, 2014, with family and friends at Renmark – Photo courtesy of the Murray Pioneer
Tim is passionate about water-users in Chaffey and the rest of South Australia receiving their fair share of water from the Murray-Darling system upon which it heavily relies. He is a keen supporter of initiatives aimed at improving local health and education services, and conserving Chaffey's important natural environmental assets and resources. He is a strong believer in the benefits for Chaffey farmers in targeted, local horticultural and agricultural scientific research. He has always advocated for better maintenance of the State’s regional road network and improved transport infrastructure to service the agricultural and mining sectors.
Tim is proud to live in the Riverland and represent the people of Chaffey. He is also very active in promoting Chaffey as one of the State’s premier food bowls, wine regions and tourist destinations.
Being the Member for Chaffey keeps Tim very busy, but when he's not representing the electorate or in his ministerial duties, he is spending time with his three children, fishing at his favourite spots and, especially, water skiing in the Riverland.
Tim is an accomplished speed skier, having represented South Australia and Australia of the world stage. The highlight of his career was winning the Sydney Bridge to Bridge, the world's toughest water ski race.