We applied in March 2017. Our application was ready to go with all of the paperwork except medical and police check, but we took the risk and uploaded a couple of months later.
I noticed in April 2018 it said my partner was approved to be a sponsor. We didn't hear anything off anyone once and no further requests for information and we were granted the visa on 2nd July 2018.
Just wanted to let you all know to hang in there. We were so nervous and worried all this time, but it worked out fine. I now know I can live (hopefully when 801 is granted) happily ever after with my partner 🙂