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Go Matilda comment on the situation for those with trade skills.
I believe that many who are at the start of the application process really ought to commit to the skills assessment process straightaway - before the SMPs are published - if they are to have half a chance at being in a position to apply for a skilled visa before the anticipated new points test comes into effect.
If they don't commit in the very near future - and yes, spend some money - I think it quite possible they will run out of time. Remember how long WA and QLD were taking to process Sponsorship applications 9 months ago? I feel sure there are going to be large numbers applying to these States as and when their SMPs are published.