THE horrific extent of sex abuse against children in state care over four decades has been revealed in the 600-page report of the Mullighan inquiry to State Parliament.

Retired Supreme Court judge Ted Mullighan, QC, yesterday issued a stark warning that children in state care would remain vulnerable to sex abuse unless urgent action was taken to overhaul a system in crisis.

His $13.5 million inquiry considered hundreds of allegations of widespread child abuse within government and non-government institutions, spanning 40 years.