(Above image from www.nationalvisas.com)
Beginning 01 July 2011, those applying for an Australian skilled visa has to comply with the new points test. With this amendment, coming to Australia to work and reside will be very difficult and competitive. Now, an applicant needs to score at least 6 in all areas of the IELTS, although it will garner zero point. Those who study and work in Australia will get more points. Being sponsored by a relative is pointless so as speaking with one of the community languages unless you are accredited by NAATI. The only positive with this amendment is that applicant's age is extended to 50 years old, although no point is given for those in 45 - 50 range.
With this stringent policy, Australia could not recruit their needed skilled workers as perceived.
For additional and further information, read this:http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/points-test.pdf