I am not sure if low risk or high risk countries affect the processing time of the application.I feel you Marcellus. Really frustrating and annoying.
I'm from Malaysia (low risk country) and as of today, I have been waiting for almost 17 months.
I applied on 19th Dec 2015. I got an email once from them asked me to do medical. And after that, nothing until today.
I do understand that the department is busy currently but when you hear other people from high risk country got approved less than a year, it make you think that this is unfair and start thinking of what kind of system they are using in prioritize the application.
But i know that they only prioritize if the application are in urgent matters (such as relationship breakdown, domestic violence)
I think the processing time depends on how complicated and complex the application is, also on the way application and evidences are presented.
I am from a high risk country and I was waiting for more than 13 months. I took a bet and emailed the immigration office to ask about my application and within 3 weeks later, I got my 820 granted.
You may consider to email the immigration office to ask why it takes so long to process your application.
Hope this emails. Good luck